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November 7, 2014

New software promises to thwart scalpers for MAB

Last year’s Summer Breeze Concert, put on by the University’s Major Activities Board (MAB), saw incidences of ticket scalping, as reported in the May 6, 2014 issue of The Maroon. Third-year Trevor Martin, a web developer who can often be found coding on the first floor of the Regenstein, believes that his new software can be used to stop scalpers dead in their tracks.

In June, Martin founded EventKast, a service for, as he puts it, “hosting, managing, and attending events.” EventKast also features a digital ticketing system designed so that tickets are not transferrable.

“When you register for an event [using EventKast], you take a picture of yourself, which goes to Facebook and then to the event host. Also, the name of the attendee is on the ticket. So scalping is impossible because a name and a face is associated with each individual ticket,” Martin said.

In spite of the fact that he began work on EventKast a month after the tumultuous Summer Breeze, Martin said that his initial motivation to develop the software was not to create an anti-scalping application, but to offer an alternative to EventBrite, a San Francisco based online ticketing service.

“EventKast was born out of my own frustration with using EventBrite to organize coding and martial arts events,” Martin said.

Martin characterized his distaste for EventBrite as a product of its primary function as a ticketing service. He said that the philosophy behind EventKast incorporates event marketing and the goal of facilitating human connections.

“What they are doing is a ticketing service for events—I am trying to provide a hosting service for events. You can declare the existence of an event, but you need a marketing campaign to reach people. EventKast does this via a built-in, social media –based marketing application. There is also a built-in chat feature, so attendees can talk to each other—the whole point of this application is to foster people connecting offline,” Martin said.

EventKast is effectively underground—Martin said that he will not solicit a clientele until he is done developing the program. He also said that he recently began working with third-year Reshad Monsur, a web designer, to make the EventKast website presentable.

“I’m the technical, coding, guy—he does mockups and design. Before him, we didn’t have a logo—I was just using a disco ball from ClipArt,” Martin said.

Martin said that he plans to pitch his software to MAB within the next two months.

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